Millinocket, Maine-Fremont, Nebraska. 

It’s been about a week and a half since I summited Mt Katahdin, and exactly a week that I’ve been home in Fremont. I feel like I need to write this one last post so I can officially be done with the trail.

I took a shuttle from Millinocket Maine to Medway Maine. Then a bus from Medway to Bangor Maine. I transferred busses in Bangor and took another bus to Boston.I stayed in Boston in this furnished studio apartment at The Copley House.

I decided to take Amtrak from Boston to Omaha for something different. I had a one hour layover in Albany New York and met our daughter Megan and our son in law Alex and had supper with them. Megan packed me a plethora of food to consume on the train. With the exception of the train being behind schedule most of the way, the Amtrak experience was good.

I got into Omaha about midnight on Wednesday. Amy picked me up and we drove to Fremont. At home she had goulash and no bake chocolate cookies. Two of my favorite things. Of course I ate before I went to bed.

Since I have been home I’ve been to the store multiple times catching up with my coworkers. Even though I’m retired they will always be my coworkers and friends. I’ve washed and cleaned all my hiking gear and put it away. I told my hiking friends I couldn’t wait to get home and cut the grass, grill some steaks and drink some beer. I got all that done.

Amy and I are currently in Minnesota visiting our daughter Sarah, our son in law Kyle AND our grandchildren Alyvia, Tenley and Adrian. They are good farm kids and are involved in 4-H. They are showing sheep at the county fair.I am very happy I hiked the AT. I’m also very happy I’m done hiking the AT. I missed my family. I missed home. I missed birthdays, holidays, plays, our daughter Sarah getting her RN degree and much more.

But, it was, at the same time such a positive experience. I met a lot of great people. I saw so much beauty everyday. I was challenged in many ways.

Through-hiking the AT was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I thought I was a pretty tough guy, physically and mentally. The AT brought me to my knees. I’m still in disbelief that I made it. I can see why there’s a 75% drop out rate.

I hated the mud and the mosquitoes. I didn’t like all the gnarly roots. There were many times I was cussing the rocks. And the rain. It seemed like I was hiking in the rain more than I wasn’t.

There were many times I felt like I was over my head and definitely out of my comfort zone on the technical rock climbing. I hiked in every weather condition possible.

I am proud that I finished and I have a great deal of admiration for anyone else that finishes. I enjoyed hiking alone with my own thoughts. I also enjoyed hiking with other people. I liked the social aspect of camping around other people.

Going to town for resupply with friends was very special and fun. Our favorite pastime on the trail was to fantasize about what food we were going to eat when we got to town. I took more than five million steps, ate 400 Natures Valley protein bars, 300 Clif bars, 300 Snickers bars, 500 peanut butter and honey tortilla wraps and 100 dehydrated meals. I went through 4 pairs of shoes and 4 pairs of socks.

I am amazed at how much wilderness there still is on the east coast. I will also be quick to correct anyone that scoffs at the Appalachian Mountains and doesn’t consider them real mountains. The hike requires 465,000 feet of elevation gain, the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest 16 times.

I have a new appreciation for some of the simple things in life. Being dry. Eating whenever you want. Sleeping on my bed. Showering whenever you want. Not having to walk or hitch a ride wherever you want to go. A toilet. Family. Amy.

Many people ask me about my plans now. My answer has been “I’m doing whatever Amy wants for at least a month.” I’m just looking forward to spending time with family.

I’m not planning anymore long adventures. I didn’t like being away from home that long. I will go on some vacations with our son Ryan. I anticipate we will do some weeklong biking and hiking trips.

I also want to spend more time visiting my parents. My dad is responsible for my love of physical activity and my love of the outdoors. I didn’t think about it much when I was growing up, but I was outdoors constantly with dad hiking, biking, running, ice skating and fishing. I thought about my dad everyday on the trail.

Amy gets to pick a trip anywhere she wants to go. I don’t know what that is. She’s hinted about an Alaskan cruise. Whatever it is will be fun. She deserves some attention.

I’m so happy to be home. 

11 thoughts on “Millinocket, Maine-Fremont, Nebraska. 

  1. Thanks for posting this final blog. I have been wondering how you were doing. Thanks also for the blog while you were hiking–that is the only way I plan to enjoy the AT!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you are home too. Wonderful accomplishment! And life goes on….
    Just got home from Ragbrai with Caleb, Erica and Ivor, and a friend from Idaho. Had a beautiful week, with smaller than yours challenges. Would not have wanted to do it for months! Wishing you a blessed month with Amy time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for this wrap up – you look so happy to be home again! I love how much you are appreciating Amy and your family and home. Enjoy the cruise, if that’s what she chooses! Culture shock doesn’t seem to be bothering you, I find that amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Mike…welcome home!!! 🤗 I was really hoping you’d write 1 more entry becuz in addition to all that other stuff you’ve learned, you have also become quite the interesting, reflective writer. At times you made me feel like I was actually there on the AT (even more info than I wanted at times). 😳 😩😤😷🤕 I can’t relate to what you’ve been thru with this experience other than possibly military training and childbirth x3! 😬😅 But I do know the growth in character and faith that one gains from doing and accomplishing something so challenging. We are changed forever…hopefully for the good. Now get busy visiting fam & friends, eating (Spam steak?!), drinking 🍺, mowing, etc…and MOST IMPORTANTLY whatever Amy wants you to do! We love you, Man!
    Tammy & Rob ❤️💛

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us all along on your journey. I agree that you can add “author” to all of your other attributes.

    I think a blog about an Alaskan Cruise would be very interesting as well. Another thing I will never do, but would love to hear about your experiences.

    A reunion in Washington, Iowa would be welcome as well. I know one young man who still says “I miss Mike” often when we walk into the Hy-Vee store.

    Love and Blessings to you and your family!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are leaving this blog up for a looooong time, right?! I can’t be the only one who wants to visit it again and again! Please. Pretty please with pink sugar on it? Or in your case, with chocolate on it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So happy for you Mike!! Never a doubt you wouldn’t finish!! I so enjoyed being able to follow along your blog and read about your whereabouts, but also remembering so many memories that I had along the trail. I will very much miss reading your blog, but hope we can get together for a run or drink soon to talk all about your journey!! Welcome home 🙂 It’s an odd feeling isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Welcome Home! I agree that you have become an excellent writer. Your blog has been inspirational, to say the least. Maybe an autobiography is in the works? If the Alaska cruise becomes a reality, definitely consider traveling to Vancouver, BC on the way there or back. Wendy and I know that Amy would truly love visiting the Butchart Gardens near Victoria. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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